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NEW YORK - U.S. consumer confidence fell hard to a new nine-year low last week as renewed war fears and rising oil prices dampened faith in the Bush administration's handling of the economy, a report said on Tuesday.
ABC News/Money Magazine said its weekly Consumer Confidence index staged one of its largest one-week drops ever to -27 in the week ended Jan. 19 from an already shaky -21.
The report noted that consumer confidence is quite vulnerable to oil and gasoline prices. The last time its confidence index was this low was in December 1993.
Twenty-four percent of Americans who participated in the ABC/Money poll rated the economy in a positive light, down from 26 percent in the previous week.
The survey's buying climate gauge showed that only 34 percent of Americans think now is a good time to spend their cash.
Most Americans -- 52 percent -- still rate their personal finances positively, but that component of the index also fell, from 55 percent in the previous week.
ABC/Money said the results released on Tuesday reflected the result of 1,008 interviews in the month ending Jan. 19, with an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.